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Cablegate: Beyond the Trilaterals: Returnees, Unmis, and Wildlife

VZCZCXRO6776
OO RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHKH #1105/01 2720948
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 290948Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4489
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 001105

NSC FOR MGAVIN, LETIM
DEPT PLS PASS USAID FOR AFR/SUDAN
ADDIS ABABA ALSO FOR USAU

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: MARR PREF SENV SU

SUBJECT: BEYOND THE TRILATERALS: RETURNEES, UNMIS, AND WILDLIFE
CONSERVATION

1. (U) Summary: Special Envoy (SE) General Scott Gration
facilitated the fourth round of trilateral talks with the Sudan
People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) and National Congress Party
(NCP) in Juba, Southern Sudan from September 9-10. Recently
returned members of the Southern Sudanese diaspora told the Special
Envoy on September 10 that they and others like them want to
contribute to Sudan's development, and recommended the formation of
a permanent panel of returnees to advise the Special Envoy. UN
Humanitarian Coordinator Lise Grande told the Special Envoy that
over 300,000 people in Southern Sudan currently eat only one meal
every three days. She also said that troop contributing countries
must tell the United Nations in New York that they want to see UN
peacekeepers shift to a dynamic deployment model to better protect
civilians. On September 11, SE visited the Wildlife Conservation
Society (WCS) project in Boma National Park, which is protecting one
of the largest wildlife migrations in the world. Project officials
told him that effective control and monitoring of the park would
require the creation of 1,000 new park ranger positions. End
Summary.

--------------------------------
Humanitarian Situation Worsening
--------------------------------

2. (SBU) On September 10, SE Gration met with Lise Grande,
Humanitarian Coordinator for the United Nations (UN) Mission in
Sudan (UNMIS), to discuss increasing food insecurity in Southern
Sudan, civilian protection, and increasing the capacity of UNMIS.
Grande expressed serious concern over food insecurity, saying that
due to late rains and failure of the first harvest, nearly 300,000
people are at risk, eating only one meal every three days. She
anticipated food shortages would carry through at least another
year, to 2010. She appealed to the USG and others to assist with
funding and emergency food assistance.

3. (SBU) Grande also raised concerns over civilian protection for
the populations caught in the midst of tribal fighting in Jonglei
and Upper Nile states as well as those caught in the midst of Lord's
Republican Army (LRA) attacks in Western Equatoria. She emphasized
that the USG, as well as other member states, must raise the
question of adequacy of UNMIS' civilian protection in Southern Sudan
directly with UN headquarters in New York. She requested that the
SE and USUN put pressure on the UN to change the UNMIS deployment
model from a static model, where 8 of 9 troops look after the team
and only one is deployable, to a dynamic deployment model, where all
troops can moved and conduct long-range patrols. Lastly, she
praised the Special Envoy's role in the trilateral talks, but
emphasized the need to keep pressure on the parties.

-----------------------------------
Returnees Looking for Opportunities
-----------------------------------

4. (U) Gration met with former members of the Sudanese diaspora who
have returned to Southern Sudan to help rebuild their communities on
September 10. The interlocutors included a medical doctor, an
education specialist, and a former "lost boy" (Note: Male children
separated from their families in the course of the North-South civil
war who left Sudan after traveling long distances on foot to escape
the fighting were called "lost boys". End Note.) now working as an
economist for World Bank. Qration heard personal accounts of the
special challenges each participant faced in returning to Sudan to
work; the participants noted that the inadequate educational
opportunities for school-aged children were particularly difficult
to overcome. Insecurity and violence remain enormous disincentives
as well. Lack of suitably well-paying employment is also an issue,
especially because many members of the diaspora have a large network
of Sudanese relatives that depend heavily on their remittances,
creating pressure to stay abroad.

5. (U) However, the returnees told the Special Envoy, they feel
forever connected to Southern Sudan, and that with the right
incentive programs a significant number of others in the diaspora
might also return. They said that to make such returns possible,
student loan forgiveness, scholarships tied to serving in an agreed
upon position in Southern Sudan (much like an ROTC program), USG
contributions toward suitable housing and educational allowances, or
wage supplements all might be considered. Alternatively, the
participants discussed how the diaspora might contribute without
returning full-time, including through diaspora-supported exchange
programs and by financing micro-credit lending programs. To
continue this useful exchange of ideas, the parties will explore
creating a permanent advisory panel of returnees.

KHARTOUM 00001105 002 OF 002

------------------------------
Boma: Sustainable Conservation
------------------------------

6. (U) On September 11, Gration and delegation traveled with the
Wildlife Conservation Service (WCS) and the Government of Southern
Sudan (GOSS) Ministry of Wildlife to Boma National Park in Jonglei
State. Boma National Park, a 28,000 square mile protected area
close to the Ethiopian border, is the site of some of the largest
wildlife migrations on earth. WCS in conjunction with the GOSS is
working to develop a sustainable strategy for managing natural
resources, wildlife conservation and management of protected areas.


7. (U) Local park wardens told the delegation that poaching, tribal
fighting and lack of resources continue to impede their ability to
protect and monitor the wildlife in Boma. There are currently 150
park wardens, all of whom are former Sudan People's Liberation Army
(SPLA) troops. These wardens have only two vehicles at their
disposal with which to monitor the 28,000 square miles of the park.
When asked, park wardens explained that in order to effectively
control and monitor the park, they would need at least 1,000 park
wardens and significantly more mobility.

8. (U) This cable was cleared by the Office of the Special Envoy.

WHITEHEAD

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